Saturday, 14 November 2015

Paris.

129 people are confirmed to be dead. 352 are injured, 99 of whom are critical. All in 6 sickening attacks around the city of Paris. The most deadly European terrorist attack since 2004, when trains were bombed in Madrid.

No words I, or anyone else, can say will ever do the horror of this incident justice. Yet, it's all I have been able to think about in the past 24 hours.

Paris is the city of love and lights. Paris is always a good idea and Paris, je t'aime. The beauty of the city can't be denied. This makes the shock factor of the attacks so much harder to swallow. The terrorists targetted places of entertainment and enjoyment: restaurants, a music venue, a football stadium. These are the last places one would expect to visit and suffer gun and explosive attacks. Attacking the unexpected leads to innocent people around the world living in fear that their town, city, country will be next. Fear is what allows terrorism to remain strong.


City of Glasgow College showing its support to Paris. Photo credit to The Ark, Glasgow.

France has fallen victim to three terrorist attacks in 2015: Charlie Hebdo, the Thalys train attack and now, Le Bataclan, its surrounding areas and Saint Denis. However, this is attack is no longer single-handedly a French issue. Arrests have been made in Belgium. Victims come from all over the world: the UK, USA, Switzerland, Tunisia. One of the attackers was smuggled through Greece. It is a worldwide issue.

Monuments and buildings around the world have been lit up with le tricolor français. Vigils have been held in multiple countries, with thousands of people singing La Marseillaise and showing their unity. We need to back up this support. François Hollande states that he will fight back without mercy and our governments must stand with France to defeat ISIS before hundreds more people are tragically killed.

I am in shock. I feel sick. Paris is a city that is very close to my heart, as a French student. Many of my fellow students are currently living in France. Thankfully, none of my friends are living in Paris, and miraculously this is the first weekend in a long time where no one I know was visiting the Paris region. Not everyone was as lucky.

Je suis avec Paris. Le monde pense à Paris. Reposez en paix toutes les victimes.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité is a message that France and the world must keep close to them in light of these events. We must also add another word to this list - solidarité.

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